Proper introductions are made. Enemies are checked for. Travel plans are...set.
The party is inside Cel's shop, which is filled with mechanical contraptions, such as hammocks made out of cogs and automatically rotating display cabinets filled with potions. Jasper is serving tea to everyone, and he tells Cel there are people at the front door for them. Cel asks which language the party prefers to converse in, and they settle on English.
Cel goes to the front door to greet several villagers who have come to thank them for protecting the village against Shoin's men. They give Cel flowers and food, and Cel hugs them. Cel then goes back inside and asks why the party attacked them, and Zolf explains it was a misunderstanding. Hamid apologizes again, and Cel says everyone makes mistakes. Zolf introduces the group, telling Cel that they are investigating the Shoin Institute, and Cel is intrigued. Zolf asks whether they are aware of what is happening in the wider world, but Cel is not aware of the war that is happening. Zolf tells them that Europe is a no-go zone, and Cel says that Europe has been a no-go zone for their entire life. Azu asks if they want to help them save the world, and Jasper immediately pops his head into the room to stare at Cel with star-struck eyes. Cel sends him away to get more food, and the party then introduces themselves to Cel properly.
Hamid tells Cel that their goal is to take down the Shoin institute and that they were told that an enemy of Shoin's was living in this village who could help them, and then asks if Cel would like to help. Cel says that taking down Shoin would save them a lot of trouble, and that it will be tricky, and then agrees to help, introducing themselves with their full name to the group. Zolf then awkwardly tells Cel that the nature of the European threat means that they have to make sure Cel is not infected before they can work with them, and asks if they can spent a week at their shop. In return, the group can help out in the village. Cel agrees and asks their help to build some defensive structures for the village.
In the next week, the party attempt to build barricades and automated weaponry that even someone like Jasper could operate. Zolf travels up and down to the inn to let Wilde know what's going on. Wilde says that if he doesn't hear back from Zolf in nine days, he will send someone to look for them. Azu helps carry stuff with the help of her camel, Topaz, while Zolf helps build palissades, while Hamid uses his Fly spell to help. Cel pulls out an old tank that was stuck in a marsh, and instructs Jasper on how to use it.
During the week, Zolf negotiates with Cel about having to do a visual inspection of their body to make sure they are not infected. Cel is not okay this, and Zolf apologizes, explaining why it's necessary. He tells Cel that they can choose from any of the three of them to do the visual inspection, or if Cel is not comfortable that is fine as well, but that would mean they can not help the party with the Shoin mission. Cel eventually relents, because they don't think the party can manage Shoin without them. During this process, Zolf becomes aware that Cel's pronouns are neutral. Zolf gives Cel's participation in the mission the green light.
The party takes Cel back with them to Wilde's inn, but Cel is very worried about the village and Jasper, and keeps going back to check 'one last time'. Azu and Zolf assure them that everyone will be fine, and they head back to Wilde. Cel is surprised by the excellent state the Inn and the village is in, seeing how Shoin has been attacking most of the villages on the island. Zolf explains they have been protecting the place just as Cel has been protecting their village. Wilde introduces himself to Cel, asks whether they are hungry, and invites them inside his office for a talk.
Wilde brings Cel up to date with the state of the world and how the simulacra are tied into what has been happening. Wilde thinks that the Shoin Institute receives their supplies through a tunnel, the entrance of which is at the boat house. Cel suggest to explode it to solve the problem, but Hamid tells them they actually need to go into the institute to get information, and not only shut them down. The party discuss how to get to the island, because the tunnel is a strong point of defense.
Cel suggests to build a boat which they have already designed the plans for, thinking it would take between a week to three weeks to finish, but quicker with some help. Azu doesn't think they have that amount of time, but Hamid and Wilde says they probably do. Cel suggests changes to the design so it will be a one-use boat, which would aid construction speed.
Hamid asks why they can't just get a normal boat, but Zolf says it would be destroyed immediately by the storm. Zolf asks if Hamid remembers the metal tentacle-thing in the water they saw during their trip across the channel, and that he's pretty sure Shoin made that machine. Zolf thinks it was some kind of bio-mechanical armoured giant squid that can control the weather. Azu wonders if they should get rid of it, but Cel disagrees, preferring to own one instead. Zolf suggests to have that conversation after they have dealt with Shoin, and proposes that the boat they're building should be submersible. Cel gets to drawing up the plans.
The party help Cel built the submersible during the next few days. Zolf helps by sculpting small stone parts and Azu by doing most of the heavy-lifting. In total, it takes five days to complete the boat, and it mostly consists of tarred wood and weighted blocks of stone. It turns out the propulsion system is difficult to get down. When they finish the 'boat', Hamid loses all confidence in the plan and suggests they should use the tunnel instead. Cel is very hurt by the suggestion. Zolf suggests to create a battery using Hamid's knowledge of Mr. Ceiling's technology, and Cel thinks they can make it work. Hamid strongly disagrees and thinks that it will take months of research and if Cel will try to recreate it in only a day they will all probably die. In the end, they decide to add masts to the submersible and Hamid helps by sewing the sails out of dark, spare clothes.
It turns out the interior of the submersible is suicidally cramped, and Azu is anxious about going inside. Cel offers her a potion of Reduce Person to help her deal with her claustrophobia. Cel then unveils the finished boat, which they call the 'Peddle-a-tron', but they eventually change the name to 'Sail-a-tron' because it no longer uses peddles. The boat does not look great, and the party feels less than confident about the journey ahead.
- Alex: So you're all inside the shop. Lydia, could you please describe the shop for people?
- Lydia: Oooh gang, it's so cool.
- Alex: End of description!
- Cel: "So, why did you come into my home and attack me?"
- Zolf: "Right. So, that was just a misunderstanding, obviously we didn't know the situation, we didn't know those thugs were thugs, we just thought they were people. We thought maybe a fight had broken out, and you were the scariest person there."
- Cel: "Oh, thank you! Awww, you shouldn't have!"
- Zolf: "In which case, Europe is a no-go zone."
- Cel: "I mean, Europe's been a no-go zone for me my whole life, but yeah."
- Zolf: "Well for everyone now, basically."
- Cel: "All right. Okay."
- Zolf: "So-"
- Azu: "-Would you like to help us save the world?"
- Zolf: "I mean, that. Yeah, pretty much that."
- Cel: "Jasper, I think we've run out of (what's some food?) - eh, fish sauce! And I'd really like you--"
- Jasper: "No! No, we've got, eh, ehm, tons."
- Cel: "Okay, soy sauce?"
- Jasper: "Hmm-hm."
- Cel: "...Kimchi."
- Jasper: "I'm pretty certain we're-"
- Cel: "I HAVEN'T SEEN A SOUFLE IN MONTHS. You're going to go get me one of them."
- Cel: "Jasper, set the tank gun off at a distance, you remember what we said about distance-fuses and slow-fuses, right? Ok, you're going to do a demo for me so that I know you will not explode yourself, I put a lot of time in training you, Jasper, and if you explode yourself that would be deeply inconvenient for me."
- Cel, when Wilde and Zolf share a 'look': "Oh are you… Oh, right! Oh, are these two… ? Oh, that is cute!"
- Azu & Hamid: No. / Zolf: "Oh, no! No no no no no no!"
- Cel: "All right, no? (to Wilde) Eh, hello you!"
- Cel: "So I could just rig that up with explosives and we'd be sorted!"
- Wilde: "Yes and no..."
- Cel: "There are very few problems that explosions can not sort!"
- Hamid: "We sort of need some of the information, we don't just need to shut them down, we need to get in there and find out what they know before we destroy it all."
- Zolf: "Yeah, blow it up on the way out."
- Hamid: "Yes, definitely."
- Wilde: "Very much so."
- Cel: "So long as there will definitely be some blowing up."
- Wilde: "Ideally yes. Ideally yes."
- Zolf: "My theory is some kind of bio-mechanical armoured giant squid that can control the weather."
- Cel: *gasp of delight*
- Azu: "Really?"
- Zolf: "Yes, now it's a-- yes."
- Azu: "Are we going to have to get rid of that?"
- Cel: "NO! No, I would like very much to have that."
- Wilde: "Very much we would like to get rid of that, if that's possible."
- Cel: "No, I, no, I don't think that would happen- *noises of protest* I just think - I can look after that, it'll be like a pet! It's like a pet, I can call it something like... Lucius! That could be a thing!"
- Helen: "This is the most ludicrous thing we've done so far."
- Ben: "Yes, which is saying something."
- Alex, laughing: "Bryn is not impressed. Bryn is - Bryn is SO unimpressed!"
- Ben: "It's all right! I've got four slots of water breathing, I'm going to give myself extra wisdom from the sails-"
- Alex, high-pitched: "You're better off walking there on the bottom of the sea!"
Dice rolls and Mechanics
- Zolf Knowledge History check about wars going on in the world: 17
- Cel Knowledge Engineering check to build defensive structures: 29
- Cel Knowledge Engineering to design the submersible boat: 18 (Red-conned when Lydia decides to 'Take 20' instead)
- Cel Craft Alchemy check: 27